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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Review-ish: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Spoiler-Free)

Star-Wars-The-Last-Jedi-56-700x291

Have we ever had a relaunch followed immediately by a reboot?

Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is not, as many hoped, a “middle” Star Wars movie, with the emotional impact of The Empire Strikes Back. And that is why many reviews will come off as disappointed. But they are dead wrong.

The Last Jedi is the Star Wars revival that The Force Awakens utterly failed to deliver.

I wasn’t so enthralled by TLJ in the early going. The opening action sequence was good, but slow and a little too complicated. There were too many cutesy jokes. But toward the end of the sequence, the first glimmer of what Rian Johnson was really after… a new visual idea, a powerful, personal, emotional moment for a character we barely know… yeah.

And again… a bit too much meandering, re-establishing the characters, cute CG animals, three jokes when 1 would have been enough.

But somewhere around the middle, The Last Jedi asserts itself as the template for the Star Wars future. A couple great new characters who you care about seeing again. A couple new characters who you would be just as happy to see get sabered. Romantic relationships seeded. Actual character ideas for Poe Dameron. Snoke as a fully actualized character.

But most importantly, Johnson resets the central characters and sets the direction forward. What is the relationship between Rey and Finn? Can we stop trying to figure out where Rey came from? How does Kylo Ren relate to Rey? Will the Luke & Leia story be important?

And Johnson also establishes which characters who came from Force Awakens are important and which are expendable. In this regard, he is a little rude at times… which I love. I mean, kill f-ing Negan already! Enough! Rian Johnson would have had Carl pluck out both Negan’s eyes then let Maggie snip off his testicles before Michonne cut off his arms as they all wait for him to turn so Rick could stick the knife in his zombie brain in front of everyone.

I found the second half of the film exhilarating, not only because there are many terrific surprises and a couple scenes that I consider the best Star Wars sequences since the original trilogy, but because we are now ready to move into a Star Wars future that is more like the idea of Rogue One than the idea of the original Star Wars. But still, a first chapter.

It’s a weird thing, though. I kept thinking that this was the film that should have – with an obvious bow to introducing the new central characters – been the first of the resurrected series. But while there was value to The Force Awakens, doing the job of imitating what Star Wars was, this film feels like what Star Wars is going to be.

I don’t want to be too generous. I would cut 15 minutes out. There are editing choices that leave the film feeling choppy when it should feel smooth. And like I said before… too cutesy at times… too much plush sold.

But this was like a very effective pilot, making me look forward to future episodes. I like Finn better now. I like Rey better now. I like Kylo Ren better now. Rian Johnson was not a bull in a china shop. He was respectful. But he went right up to JJ Abrams white board and started erasing the lesson and putting up his own… a much more interesting, complex, modern lesson that still feels like Star Wars. A huge win. There were tears of excitement in my eyes a few times in that third act. Johnson’s script – however many people were involved – gets emotional life out of characters both major and minor.

There is no “I am your father.” I suspect that many expect that. But it’s not a middle story. It’s really the beginning.

And sadly, it struck me that JJ is coming back to soften the edge that Rian Johnson so gracefully sewed into this franchise machine. I hope he can imitate Rian as well as he imitates George and Steven. I hope the screenplay is worthy of a Star Wars episode without a Death Star.

You know who would have done great with the next episode? David Ayers. More End of Watch than Suicide Squad. In the old days, you’d want a Walter Hill or Billy Friedkin.

Anyway… I really, by the end, liked The Last Jedi. This is not the Star Wars that anyone was looking for. But it is the first glimpse we have had at real growth in the Star Wars universe. Be wary of opinions that are offered in the idea of not getting what the speaker expected, rather than seriously considering what is actually on offer.

59 Responses to “Review-ish: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Spoiler-Free)”

  1. JS Partisan says:

    David, we should be wary of people, that actually want shit star wars, but your review ignores, that they aren’t making these movies for critics. They are making them for FANS, and as a fan? I don’t want any of this shit, and I look forward to JJ taking a fucking shit ton of figurative explosive to it.

    He set up a familial fucking sequel, that Rian and LFL decided, “Nope. , BECAUSE THAT’S SO EXTREME! You want Luke Skywalker, who ISN’T A FUCKING QUITTER? NO! THAT’S NOT EXTREME ENOUGH! HE’S AND FULL !” I can go on and on, but much like the piece of shit that is Rogue One. These people are making films for boomers, and totally ignoring the rest of us. The rest of us, who actually see movies, care about movies, and love movies. This? This is trash, like Rogue One is trash. Why are they trash? They aren’t Star Wars. They are this ridiculous 90s take on Star Wars, that totally ignores what Star Wars is about; for the sake of being COOL and EXTREME and DIFFERENT! I didn’t need a reboot of a fucking reboot, and I’m going to bet that I am not alone. Watch people go nuts for this garbage, but they didn’t go nuts for Rogue One, so here’s hoping LFL has burnt out people on this… garbage.

    Hate TFA all you want, but JJ made a Star Wars film. Everything promising and hopeful in that film, is shit on by Rian Johnson’s midget asshole, and now JJ has to shove it right back up his ass.

    Oh yeah. This is for, Geoff. The RT score, for this EXTREME garbage, is another reason to worry about Disney being a behemoth. If only the fucking CNN guy, is comfortable telling them off, because he’s part of his OWN BEHEMOTH. Well… we are in trouble, because the reviews of this film are pat shit, and DC/Warners level failure on LFL should be derrided. It shouldn’t be out and out praised.

    One more fucking thing: NO, WE CAN’T STOP WONDERING WHERE REY CAME FROM, BECAUSE THAT’S HOW THE FUCKING TRILOGY CONTINUES! They might as well kill this fucker off after IX, because who cares about a bunch of nobodies? I just had an EU, that gave me Ben, Jania, and Jacen but GOD FUCKING FORBID LFL use this plot point, because it’s about the kids. LFL failed to grasp this, and now JJ has to deal with it.

  2. Nick says:

    Holy christ. this film is fucking terrible. everything about it sucks. the plot is fucking horrible and is everything that is wrong with how they’re manhandling star wars into todays pc bullshit culture. there’s a reason why the first ones made such an impact and, surprisingly, all the “fans” involved with these “remakes” miss all the marks. I’m with you JS although, I hated TFA too.

  3. Doug R says:

    Dudes, it’s 2017. There’s less time between 1956’s The Searchers/1958’s The Hidden Fortress and 1977’s Star Wars (retcon New Hope) than there is between Star Wars and The Last Jedi.
    The cultural difference between 1977 and now? I don’t want to go back there, toots. I can’t believe Sci-Fi fans who don’t want to go forward. The same franchise that had Leia rescue Han and Luke from their own rescue and choked Jabba to death with his OWN CHAIN?
    It’s about time woman had a little empowerment and transgressed against the constant barrage of micro and macro transgressions they face every day.
    Correct and Justice are not bad things.

  4. JS Partisan says:

    Doug, I have no problem with this movie starring just women. I have a total problem, absolutely TOTAL PROBLEM, with the bullshit story. It’s not Star Wars. It’s some kid from 1994, writing an EXTREME STAR WARS EPISODE VIII, and who needs that shit? Who needs nobodies? Who needs abusive relationships? Who needs a quitter?

    JJ, has to be chomping at the bit, to fucking destroy this film with IX. TFA, at least feels like Star Wars. This? I don’t know what this is, but it’s nothing anyone would have wanted in 1989, in the alternate dimension where Lucas did the sequels first.

  5. MarkVH says:

    “The Last Jedi is the Star Wars revival that The Force Awakens utterly failed to deliver.”

    Dave, this is EXACTLY what I wanted to hear, and yours is the first reaction that’s got me genuinely excited to see the movie. It also makes me so wish that Johnson had gotten to make Episode IX as well, instead of the return to the lifeless hackery that Abrams brought to TFA. Still, if this means we get one really good Star Wars movie out of this trilogy, then that’ll be enough for me. Bring it on.

  6. JS Partisan says:

    Mark, if you fucking love this bullshit, then you and I are going to have words. If this is what you want from Star Wars, then you will find yourself in whatever minority of fandom wants this goofy shit. I’m hoping, you’re with the rest of us, because… my god… it’s the worst.

  7. Hcat says:

    Just to be clear JS, you haven’t seen it.

    So far I have only found one meh review, all the others nearly match David’s. If the AV Club and NPR’s resident (movie) nerd are excited by it, you still think its going to fall flat with the greater star wars fan population?

    Is this going to be a long couple months?

  8. MarkVH says:

    JS, that’s fine, I haven’t read spoilers and am fully prepared to not like it if it doesn’t work. But given that Dave and my opinions lined up pretty much perfectly on TFA (I may have even liked it less), his review gives me…ahem… a new hope.

    I want to like it. I really do. Johnson just needs to give me a reason.

  9. Bulldog68 says:

    So JS, have you seen it?

  10. JS Partisan says:

    Motherfuckers, it’s not 1993. It’s called spoilers. BOOYA! Just on their own, that’s just garbage. I’ll see it on Thursday, because I already bought my ticket, but that’s garbage. I don’t care how well it’s executed. It was still stupid to kill off Trinity (Last time spoilers annoyed me this much), and all of this is just… this nonsense is some shit I need in my Star Wars? Really?

    And the entire fucking DON’T SPOIL THIS campaign LFL has rolled out, is just their way to hope people like me get pissed watching the movie, instead of getting pissed before paying for it. They have my money, and fuck them.

  11. Nick says:

    the story is boring as all shit. end of discussion.

  12. MarkVH says:

    Thanks Nick. Guess I won’t be seeing it then if that’s the end of discussion. Appreciate your saving me the $10 I already paid by pre-ordering tickets. Whew.

  13. Nick says:

    $10 tickets? are you writing from 1997?

  14. MarkVH says:

    Nope, I just live in North Carolina, where things are priced semi-reasonably.

  15. David Poland says:

    Who said that this is an all-women film?

    There are more women. There are more people of color. But while it is striking at first, it becomes a non-issue. They are all just people.

  16. Nick says:

    *boring people

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    JS, that’s a pretty strong opinion for a movie you haven’t seen yet. So basically you are going in with your mind already made up.

  18. Glamourboy says:

    Again, I have no idea why people even bother to read JS’s posts…and this pretty much proves it. He has this huge opinion for a movie he hasn’t seen yet. What a moron. Why do people even bother engaging with him?

  19. Nick says:

    Btw in answer to relaunch reboot question. The answer is yes we have:
    Mos -> Batman v superman -> justice league

  20. punctuation please says:

    While I always cringe at the insane level of irrational comma placement and the non-stop f-bombs in every single JS post, this time I have to simply say he’s lost his damn mind. I’m not reading ANY spoilers for the film and am going into it on Thursday night with as clean a slate as possible to judge for myself, but even if I DO wind up disappointed with it in some manner I just don’t get how you can get this worked up over a film you haven’t yet seen.

    Unless it’s Ready Player One, because that trailer just looks like pure member berry garbage and it makes my eyeballs ache.

  21. movieman says:

    Mixed.
    Thought the competing story threads resulted in an overall lack of focus; definitely felt the length (152 minutes!?); and was annoyed by the plethora of cutesy space critters. (If you hate the Ewoks, you’re not gonna be happy.)
    Loved Laura Dern and [ed: spoiler reserved]. Hope their roles are beefed up in future installments.
    Missed Ridley’s feisty tomboy in the first two hours where she seems to be auditioning for Ophelia in a RSC production of “Hamlet.”
    Driver and Isaacs remain the best things about this new “Star Wars” generation. Probably because they’re the best actors.
    Favorite moment:
    Dern telling Fisher: “May the force be with you. Always.”
    Nearly brought a tear to my eye.
    Ironic that the “best” director entrusted w/ a new-gen “SW” would produce the least satisfying installment to date. For me anyway.
    If “Rogue One” felt like the first “SW” movie made for grown-ups since “Empire,” “Last Jedi” is a step backward (or forward?) since it’s more evocative of kiddie-ish “Return of the Jedi.”
    P.S.= What’s with all the mind-melding? I thought “Star Trek” had that sci-fi trope copyrighted.

  22. JS Partisan says:

    Glamourboy, you can use INFERENCE to fucking gleam from credible spoilers, that this shit IS DUMB! Oh my god. If you hate me, then go right the fuck ahead. I don’t give a shit. It’s inference. It’s a thing.

    Bulldog, I an adult, so I can be pissed off at story spoilers, but still see the movie with a clear head. Spoilers, help me at least, get through shit. They help me get through the inane levels of bullshit, that this movie is throwing at me. If I had to sit there in a theatre not knowing, that Rey and Kylo were going to have a weird ass FORCE ROMANCE. I’d lose my damn mind. Now? I know it’s happening, and I can try to see another angle on it. Try to find something worth a damn in it. That’s the point of spoilers for me: FINDING MORE in BULLSHIT!

    I’m sure the execution is fine, but this isn’t what I wanted from a follow up to TFA. It’s also, not what they fucking sold. They sold a follow up TFA, and gave me THE FORCE IS LIKE AN iPHONE BATTERY! Yuck. Absolute yuck.

  23. Hcat says:

    JS, There is a simple solution for all the anger you feel about this. If you are an adult then you can simply….

    Skip it

    Just Don’t Go

    If you are expecting such a crime against all that is holy don’t put yourself and others through it. It is quite easy to do. I love Batman and Superman but upon reading the reviews of BvS I simply didn’t go and it was the right decision. Studios only get away with making these decisions because they know you are coming through the door no matter what. Have some will power and prove them wrong.

  24. JS Partisan says:

    Hcat, god bless you, but you continue this trend of this blog not understanding PURE EMOTION! There is no repression here, and that means that there is EMOTION! I’m also Sicilian, and my people are my people.

    Also, you have to face these things sometimes. You just have to force project your ass to Crait, and deal with some stupid shit. Doesn’t mean it won’t be any less stupid, but you have to see it. You have to see it. The goes with shit like Covenant, or BvS. BvS is a good movie. If you are into Batman going nuts, because he feels emasculated.

    I also, have my ticket. I bought the fucker already, so I’m going to see it. I see moviea, and this is where your little analogy fails. It’s not about me, Hcat. It’s about the regular people, and if the regular people who aren’t fanatics pay to see this shit, and it does nothing for them. Well, that’s the problem, because STAR WARS IS NOT MARVEL! They don’t have to keep coming in for Star Wars, and this movie is going to put that to test.

    But again, watch motherfuckers love this shit, and I am just left shrugging.

  25. GdB says:

    No matter how good or bad these films are, Disney and company, by abandoning Lucas’ treatment, ruined any chance to see Hamill, Ford and Fisher in character bantering together in a shared scene or narritive.

    That for me, is more offensive and heart breaking than anything ever offered in the prequels.

  26. Js partisan says:

    Pretty much, GdB. Pretty much.

  27. GdB says:

    Thanks JS. It’s gratifying to know another superfan gets what I mean when all the ones in my world are being sequel trilogy apologists.

    This willfull missed opporutunity by Disney has really been a block for me as a superfan. I like Rebels and the comics so far, but I really think this (willfull) move by Disney to take that away in a suit driven move for an un-needed reboot has converted me to a “Lucas only” Star Wars fan and for me, the canon ends with Jedi and them living happily ever after as the subtext of the final scene intended.

    Instead of giving them 4-5 good years and having their lives go to utter shit again after a hard won victory as the Disney canon mandates.

    There’s a way to create a compelling narrative without douching three of the greatest cinematic characters in history with storylines that tragedize them for no narratively compelling reason. You have them make stupid choices in between movies in this new canon simply to engender a rebooted narrative of the original film.

    Like JS says, Luke isn’t a quitter. But he had to be the new Obi-Wan down to the fucking beard so hard as mandated by Disney that they shit on the character to make him have a traumatic failure and become a hermit, just like Obi Wan.

    It’s contrived bullshit. And now we will never see Ford, Hamill and Fisher share a scene as these characters again.

    I want to get past it, but I’m having a really hard time with it and think I’m going to look at the Disney works as the most expensive fan fiction ever. And for me, Star Wars begins and ends with the Lucas era.

    Never say never, but that’s where I’ve been since TFA, save for Rebels and the comics.

  28. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah, GbB. That sums it up. It really does. There is just a weirdness there, that we don’t get to see them happy together… but I have a feeling I know why. They are going to show us those 25 years, in fucking TV shows. It’s the only thing that makes sense. If not, then really? FUCK ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT.

    It’s bullshit. It’s unnecessary, and terribly fucking poorly thought out bullshit. TFA? Is a Star Wars movie to me. This, on paper alone, is just some hokey fucking shit. It didn’t need to be this way. Disney and LFL, could have made everyone happy, but this is what happens when you lose the chief architect. You get shit like this. Shit in Star Wars in name only, and it really sucks.

    What really sucks to me though, is EVERYTHING THIS YEAR POP CULTURE WISE, the BIG EVENTS… paid off. They at least worked, for me, and then there is this. The big mamma jamma, and it’s coming off like a big wet fart.

    What’s annoying about this fart? IT’S OWN GOAL! IT’S SELF INFLICTED! They could have just made a Star Wars movie, for Star Wars fan. They decided they were better than George, and here’s the wet fart trilogy. Again, Colin Trevorrow deserves an apology, because I’m not sure a lot of people alive could follow up this nonsense.

  29. Michael Bergeron says:

    my favorite scene was early on, where Luke Skywalker milks the teat of a four-titted sea creature and then proceeds to drink the milk with the same passion for liquid that Denzel displayed in Flight

  30. Geoff says:

    Granted I’m not fully woken up but I am SO utterly confused by this thread. :)

    JS, you’re just going by the spoilers and you haven’t seen the movie? Dude why not take a chill pill and see the movie first? I’ll grant you I’m pretty sure I inadvertently read the major spoils in a Forbes article of all things last night….and yup, let’s just say my expectations are sufficiently managed right now. It SEEMS from all of the gushing praise I have been reading and seeing since the premiere over the weekend and the more long-form reviews that came out yesterday, I’m sensing something quite bizarre about what this movie tries to do: it REALLY wants to show that they are past pure fan-service a la The Force Awakens but it also wants to REALLY show that no fucking way are they are going to copy Empire Strikes Back because THAT’S what you’re expecting….and the result is….well, NOTHING resembling either of those two movies, so GOLD STAR for that?? :)

    I keep hearing about how Lucasfilm should be commended for taking risks while the main criticism usually somewhat buried in there is that the movie is very overstuffed and overlong – there’s some very weird disconnect going there that I’m guessing the more ardent Star Wars are struggling with. When fucking Jeremy Jahns of all people puts down his Star Wars bedsheet for the first time in one of these reviews and has to say that he’s not ready to score the movie until after watching it a second time, I can tell there’s something off. And yeah, when David Poland (still love you man) is gushing over it the same way he did for The Amazing Spiderman a few years back, I know that something’s off as well.

    I don’t know these Star Wars are just such a strange beast in themselves, it’s become clear to me that you can appreciate them a lot more with some time passing for better or worse – it usually takes some time just for me since the early hype can get you swept up in the film or put you off. I can remember cheering for much of The Phantom Menace on opening night – waited on long lines, the crowd was great, and I left saying< "I don't know what some of these critics are talking about….Jar Jar wasn't THAT bad and I liked the actor who played Annakin!" And then a few days later, I excitedly saw it again after getting out of work early by myself…..and literally fell asleep half-way through.

    The Force Awakens and TPM aged poorly upon repeat viewings while 'Sith and 'Empire got better – I can VAGUELY remember kids AND adults in the mid '80's not being as impressed with 'Empire especially the cliff-hanger ending….so yeah these films do need some time.

    I'll see it probably take a friend out for his birthday to see it this weekend and I know I'll be taking out my oldest to see it on her birthday the following weekend – Disney and Lucasfilm know what they're fucking doing with this property, making it seem almost an obligation. Hey I'll give them props for hiring Rian Johnson.

    And man JS, lay off with the this "Luke/Batman doesn't quit!" bullshit already will ya? :) Hell I'll say it's probably MORE justified this time around….you can't just wait 30 plus years to do a proper sequel and expect Luke to just pick up RIGHT where he left off. Besides despite his protestations in interviews about where they took Luke as a character, Hamill is clearly at the point where he likes going weirder just based on all of his voice-work and how much he relishes voicing the Joker.

  31. Geoff says:

    And regarding Rotten Tomatoes, fuck them and their “Tomato Meter” – even besides their ridiculous Justice League stunt last month, it’s become VERY clear that this whole empathis on their aggregate PASS/FAIL score at the expense of EVERYTHING else regarding film criticism has just tainted the site for the foreseeable future diminishing any further appearance of objectivity.

    RT has not only tried to make themselves more of the story but it has gotten to the point where both critics and studios have transformed that score into something more political that they can each benefit from – I mean wow, you have the ONE fucking critic who came in with his later review of Lady Bird and he HAD to ensure that it was marked “Rotten” so that he could get attention for breaking its 100% streak even though he just described the film as a “B-” which last I checked is NOT failing.
    Disney and their offshoots play the game very well obviously but others have gotten wise too – WB apparently designated an early sample of horror-friendly critics for early screenings of Annabelle Creation this summer so that they could have a 90% plus score out there for weeks before it would get screened by the rest.

    And I get it from RT’s perspective: they want their clicks and their sexy looking “93%” scores that look better on Fandango and it’s a business and they have to make money…..but when any newspaper or news channel gets to that “info-tainment” cross-roads, you just HAVE to make some tough decisions if you want genuine staying power as a trusted news source.

    The clear path is to just go the MetaCritic route, de-empathize the “Tomato Meter” and shift the focus to the average critic’s RATING – you get a much more diverse array of scores as opposed to just going PASS/FAIL. Will they do that? Likely not because it’s just not going to look as appealing when even most Oscar contenders at the end of the year have to settle for a “score” in the high ’70’s. But 15 years from now when you have your Finding Dory’s and Furious Seven’s and Spy’s and Doctor Stranges near the top of so many rankings with their 90+ scores, a lot of moviegoers just won’t take them nearly as seriously by that point….Grae Drake and the rest of them need to think about the future. Curious Dave as to your thoughts actually….

  32. PTA Fluffer says:

    >In the old days, you’d want a Walter Hill or Billy Friedkin.

    Now that would be a SW movie worth seeing.

  33. Hcat says:

    Hill and Friedkin? Much too cynical for a Star Wars movie. They are both propulsive filmmakers but their story arcs are completely wrong for a film like Star Wars. Friedkin protagonists spend the whole movie swimming against the current that’s circling the drain and then maybe eek out a pyrrhic victory as they descend into the darkness. Can’t wait to take the kids!!

  34. JS Partisan says:

    Geoff, Batman doesn’t fucking quit. Current Batman? He’s been doing it for 20 years. I’d imagine that Gyllenheall Bats, won’t be a quitter as well. This Luke? A total quitter, but this is what happens when you have wacky Star Wars writers.

    This is how wacky they are. We all know the ending of Fellowship of the Ring, right? Aragorn puts on the gauntlets of Gondor, and he, Gimli, and Legolas decide to go running after Merry and Pippin. Now, imagine you walked into Two Towers, and you’re all excited to see if those three catch up to the Uruk-Hai. The movie starts, we see them running, and all of a sudden they stop. Aragorn throws off the gauntlets, looks at Legolas and Gimli, and says, “Fuck this. Let’s go to Mordor!” Legolas and Gimli scream, “Yes,” and Two Towers in no way follows up Fellowship of the Ring. That’s The Last Jedi to The Force Awakens, and it’s fucking insane this sort of shit is getting the praise that it is.

    Again, Lucas did a video with JJ two years ago, and he asked, “Where are the kids?” Apparently, they can rip off the fucking Jacen storyline from the EU, but god fucking forbid they gave Luke a kid. It’s just so… bleh.

  35. Sideshow Bill says:

    Yea, I appreciate the passion JS shows for shit but he’s off his rocker here. Completely judging a film he hasn’t even seen. That’s a bad look, man. You’re better than that.

    I have some extra Xanax if you need some. I’m concerned for ya. I generally like you but you seem a bit unhinged here. I know it’s just your online persona and all but I’d hate to see it e-breakdown and commit e-suicide.

    Calm down. Be at peace, dude.

  36. JS Partisan says:

    I am not JUDGING THE FUCKING MOVIE. I am judging THE FUCKING STORY of the movie, and the story of the movie is just… so bleh. Have you people never used spoilers in your life? Bill, I explained what I am doing here, but this story is just inane. It’s an inane story, that execution may save. I doubt it, because killing off Trinity is still stupid. This shit here? Still stupid.

    Y’all must not be into hip hip, because whole albums pre-release strategy, are based off of SNIPPETS! Little spoilers, that are trying to get you into the whole thing. It is absolutely staggering, that you folks are just too oblivious to how this shit works, to really understand how the STORY of The Last Jedi is so wack.

    And Bill, motherfuckers are dying from taking Xanax without other shit. Your little post isn’t fucking funny. It’s fucking offense to people with mental illness, and for people struggling with addiction.

  37. movieman says:

    Did anyone else consider it unethical that Time Magazine allowed Stephanie Zacharek to review “The Last Jedi,” considering her personal relationship w/ Rian Johnson?
    Zacharek should have recused herself from reviewing the film. And if she hadn’t, her editor should have demanded it.

    If not a fireable offense (which it deserves to be), she should at least have her membership revoked from both the LA and Nat’l Society of Film Critics orgs.

  38. Ray Pride says:

    Is it mentioned? What is it?

  39. GdB says:

    What’s the nature of the personal relationship?

    Also, no spoilers plz. Can’t see the film until Friday.

  40. movieman says:

    They’ve been a couple for years.
    I thought it was common knowledge.

    And no, she makes no mention of it in her review.
    Yet Dargis managed to bring up Dylan Farrow’s (never proven) accusation of sexual abuse in her review of “Wonder Wheel.”

  41. Nick says:

    What does it matter? Who reads her shit reviews anyway?

  42. Ray Pride says:

    Who are some non-“shit” reviewers you like?

  43. movieman says:

    I actually think Zacharek is a good critic; have liked her since her Village Voice days.
    That’s probably why this left such a sour taste in my mouth.

    Back when I was reviewing theater for a NE OH daily, the paper elected not to assign anyone to review the shows that I directed out of “conflict of interest” concerns. Even the suggestion of bias was so distasteful to my editor that he thought it was best not to cover them at all.

  44. leahnz says:

    this movie is impossible to discuss without major spoilers, hopefully there’ll be another thread

    —– in case of spoilers —————-

    (the story – at least in parts – has leaked of course so i do kind of understand how old-school fans feel a deep cut with what transpires and how we’ll never see certain beloved characters all together again, it does feels like a bit of a slap in face. best to see the movie before a critique but i understand the angst for people who grew up with this stuff; plus it’s so derivative of the OG SW, it’s like can anyone come up with original concepts anymore)

  45. Nick says:

    Ray-
    armond white is my favorite. But I disagree with his take on Zack Snyder. I also like David’s reviews but i disagree with him on this one. Also like Bret Easton Ellis.

  46. Stella's Boy says:

    The Men’s Rights Club must not meet on Wednesday nights.

  47. Nick says:

    Got me right in the testicles.

  48. palmtree says:

    I like reading Stephanie Zacharek, mostly because I disagree with her. But I respect her opinion and usually use what she says to try to provide balance to my own opinion. Just because I agree with someone doesn’t mean I’d like them any better. They still have to be a compelling writer with interesting tastes.

  49. Jerryishere says:

    RJ is with Karina Longworth
    Not zacharek
    No conflict.

  50. movieman says:

    OMG! You’re right Jerry.
    Not sure why/how I got Longworth and Zacharek confused.

    Mea culpa and all that.

  51. Ray Pride says:

    Thx

  52. Sideshow Bill says:

    I happen to be schizophrenic, JS Partisan. I have suffered with it for 30 years. That’s why I have Xanax. And many other medicines that get through the day. Do NOT fucking talk down to me about people with mental health issues, you ranting, chest-beating pissant.

    It wasn’t a joke. You seriously seem to need help. I don’t know what you’re like in real life but I imagine you’re a miserable, unpleasant person. You’re a fanboy cliche, and a bad one at that. ” BATMAN DON’T FUCKING QUIT!!” Grow up.

    Fuck you, you ill-informed, cartoonish malcontent. Think before you type if that’s possible.

    Seriously. Fuck you. Your idiocy belongs on CHUD or AICN. Please go there with others of your childish mindset.

    I look forward to your ranting,nonsensical, comma-filled response. I know it won’t be any sort of apology. You don’t have that in you. You’re a boy.

  53. Nick says:

    lots of twitter says the film sucks….

  54. JS Partisan says:

    [Doctor Strange hand gestures]
    UNLEASH… McWEENEY TIME!

    “I happen to be schizophrenic, JS Partisan. I have suffered with it for 30 years. That’s why I have Xanax. And many other medicines that get through the day. Do NOT fucking talk down to me about people with mental health issues, you ranting, chest-beating pissant.”

    Am I talking down to you? Let’s read what I wrote

    “And Bill, motherfuckers are dying from taking Xanax without other shit. Your little post isn’t fucking funny. It’s fucking offense to people with mental illness, and for people struggling with addiction.”

    How the fuck is that talking down to you? Please? I’ve had Jeff FUCKING McMahon, Anghus, and fucking countless others throw that mental illness shit at me, and it’s a tacky as fuck. Excuse me, for not knowing how you live, and being personally fucking offended when anyone throws that out there… because I AM GETTING YOUR FUCKING BACK!

    “It wasn’t a joke. You seriously seem to need help. I don’t know what you’re like in real life but I imagine you’re a miserable, unpleasant person. You’re a fanboy cliche, and a bad one at that. ‘BATMAN DON’T FUCKING QUIT!!’ Grow up.”

    Motherfucker, how is EMOTION a BAD THING? I have constantly fucking dealt with you repressed fuckers, and the constant fucking shitting on me for HAVING EMOTION! It doesn’t make life harder. It helps you get excited for fucking life, and living for this shit. Living for this culture. If you don’t feel it in every fiber of your being, then you aren’t in my lane, so stay in yours. I live for Star Wars, and guess what? This shit is just so… skievy.

    AND BATMAN… DOESN’T FUCKING… QUIT! You know why Affleck is the best Batman? 20 years on the job, getting the shit beat out of him, and he still gets up in the morning to take down fucking Steppenwolf.

    Now, I am going to share this little aside with you. There’s this guy, that I see around town. His eyes are sort of wonky. His hair and his beard are very fucking scraggly, but besides that… nothing different about him. Except… he’s always wearing a Batman costume shirt, and a big ass Batman belt buckle. His jeans are black, and his boots are combat. I wonder why this guy. Who life kicked in the face, literally, wears this kit every single fucking day? I’d imagine. It’s because Batman doesn’t take any shit, he doesn’t fucking quit, and he keeps going. This guy? He looks like he has seen some shit, and the power of Bats keeps him going. You fucking grow up, Bill. You fucking grow up and realize, that real people view those logos as totems. They mean something, rather you can fucking grasp it or not.

    “Fuck you, you ill-informed, cartoonish malcontent. Think before you type if that’s possible.”

    You are mad at me, for stating it’s not cool to shit on people with mental illness/addiction, because I didn’t know you had mental illness? Really? If getting the rage out makes you feel better, then go right ahead. And motherfucker, the edit function is here because of me. I always go back and change shit, so don’t act as if I am not the most thoughtful motherfucker on this blog.

    “Seriously. Fuck you. Your idiocy belongs on CHUD or AICN. Please go there with others of your childish mindset.”

    I didn’t personally attack you. You are attacking me, and that is a bit childish.

    “I look forward to your ranting,nonsensical, comma-filled response. I know it won’t be any sort of apology. You don’t have that in you. You’re a boy.”

    Do you feel better, for completely flipping out? If not, eat a comma, bitch :P!

  55. Glamourboy says:

    It’s inference. It’s a thing, ya BITCHES….hahahahaha

  56. Stella's Boy says:

    “If you run into an asshole in the morning, you ran into an asshole. If you run into assholes all day, you’re the asshole.” – Raylan Givens

    JS think about how many people here you’ve squabbled with. People who have no issues with anyone else. You are the problem.

  57. Sideshow Bill says:

    I’ve never squabbled with JS. Until now. Stella is right.

    I’ll never squabble with him again because I’ll be ignoring him as much as possible. He’s broken.

  58. Sideshow Bill says:

    JS is an immature fanboy. He wants the movie he had built up in his head and will take no substitute. Nor will he judge it on its own merits. He’s an entitled, spoiled fanboy. No more no less.

  59. Arisp says:

    JS = troll nut job. Has no one figured that out yet?

    Dude go away

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch